Brightline Florida update

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jis

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Can brightline serve eminent domain on Disney . That would be a cynical way of saying we are not on Disney property but still in the same location as before ?
That would seem like an absurd thing to do - to pay Disney for land that is not needed any more. Eminent domain does not make the transaction free of charge. It just forces the transaction to take place.

The same location is more or less unusable without jumping through hoops perhaps, given the new routing.
 

VentureForth

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I noticed this. Stations in Japan are sometimes straight but individual platforms are curved.

With google earth it’s hard to tell which platforms belong to which lines sometimes. Plenty of curved platforms, but those are often regional lines.

Brightline trains are never going to be all that long though. 10 cars at best, so it’s not a huge deal.

Edit- check out Tokyo platforms on the eastern side. I think those are Shinkansen and they are curved.
Yes - I walked through Tokyo Station daily through high school. The Shinkansen platforms there are slightly curved - to a point where you can't really see the front from the back, but not greatly curved. And you're right, the shorter, regional trains (and the subways you can't really see) also have more curved platforms.

It would have been tough to get a straight or slightly curved station into Disney Springs. The stub terminal looks like it would have been the best solution, but I don't think folks like changing direction in the middle of a ride (primarily thinking about those travelling THROUGH DS rather than to/from). It also makes direction of travel a bit more confusing. I don't recall that Brightline has on-train destination boards on the coaches. That's one thing that I found quite irritating the one time I was at FLL. The NB and SB trains arrived at the same time and the kindergarten walk line leaders didn't seem to have their classes lined up properly. Lack of signage, encouragement of copious adult beverage consumption makes boarding at intermediate stations confusing already - probably more so if you were at a station where all the trains are headed out the same direction but to different destinations.
 

jis

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Generally gentle curves can be handled with suitably adjustable bridge plates. It is sharp curves that are problematic. Even worse if the track is superelevated too. To see how bad things can get just visit the westbound platform (Track 4) of Metropark on the NEC. You have to veritably jump across a chasm.
 

AmtrakWPK

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Oh, that wouldn't be a problem -- what I'm saying is that the trains to Disney will probably skip all stations between Orlando Airport and Disney, including the SunRail transfer station and the I-Drive station. And that the trains from the east to Disney probably wouldn't run through from Disney to Tampa.

So if you want to go from I-Drive to Disney, they'll make you backtrack through the airport and change trains.
Not having a SunRail transfer point on the way to Disney is really dumb for Disney. Many thousands of Orlando-area residents would LOVE to be able to get to Disney without having to drive the slow-rolling-disaster known as I-4. Being able to get to Disney from your local SunRail station would be a WONDERFUL thing.
 

west point

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Disney IMO is suffering from a common business madly. Middle age idea that what worked in the past will no longer work. "New Blood" says we must invent the wheel with a different design that does not have effect on its function. We hve to wonder how much the I-4 mess stops people from going to disney.

Disney is trying to control everything that its potential patrons have to do to visit. Thanks but no thanks. After getting locked in an I-4 mess delaying what was to be a full day into a 1/2 day said forget it and have no regrets.

Now if I could park at Sanford, take Sun Rail to Disney, not have to do I-4, pay to park at Disney, then maybe could put up with all Disney's stupid marching orders.
 
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jis

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Why are people willfully ignoring the fact that the new proposed alignment pretty much makes it difficult to place a station on Disney property? A station is planned in the vicinity, but not on Disney property, and some are all worked up about it without understanding the actual lay of the land apparently. It was not anything that Disney initiated anyway. It was Mayor Buddy Dyer's efforts to get a station at OCC and success in getting all parties together on that. The new alignment actually serves many more potential customers than just a stop at Disney, and there still is a station in the Disney area. It certainly is a better alignment for SunRail service than the 417 Corridor would have been.

IMHO the original proposal to place a terminal station on Disney property was borderline crazy, enabled only by the fact that the then proposed alignment would have had to make a very sharp left turn heading towards Tampa to get on the I-4 alignment. IMHO, it is a good that that a solution has been found eliminating that.
 
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McIntyre2K7

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Why are people willfully ignoring the fact that the new proposed alignment pretty much makes it difficult to place a station on Disney property? A station is planned in the vicinity, but not on Disney property, and some are all worked up about it without understanding the actual lay of the land apparently. It was not anything that Disney initiated anyway. It was Mayor Buddy Dyer's efforts to get a station at OCC and success in getting all parties together on that. The new alignment actually serves many more potential customers than just a stop at Disney, and there still is a station in the Disney area. It certainly is a better alignment for SunRail service than the 417 Corridor would have been.

IMHO the original proposal to place a terminal station on Disney property was borderline crazy, enabled only by the fact that the then proposed alignment would have had to make a very sharp left turn heading towards Tampa to get on the I-4 alignment. IMHO, it is a good that that a solution has been found eliminating that.

So does Disney not own the land that's highlighted below? If so, that looks like a great place for them to build their own station. It looks like the majority of the Disney buses serve the All Star Movies Resort. So just redirect them to the new station. Have a separate hotel shuttle pick up/drop off area as well for Hotels that are not on Disney property but are nearby as well. Hotels would pay Disney a fee to use the pickup/drop off area as well.

1657392091471.png
 

Brian_tampa

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So does Disney not own the land that's highlighted below? If so, that looks like a great place for them to build their own station. It looks like the majority of the Disney buses serve the All Star Movies Resort. So just redirect them to the new station. Have a separate hotel shuttle pick up/drop off area as well for Hotels that are not on Disney property but are nearby as well. Hotels would pay Disney a fee to use the pickup/drop off area as well.

View attachment 28817
I believe the potential station site is just north of whatis shown here between West Osceola Pkwy. and Epcot Center Dr. on the east side of I-4. There is a big amount of open land there that borders I-Drive.

I believe Disney does own the land on the west side of I-4 that you highlighted in red.
 

Brian_tampa

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Why are people willfully ignoring the fact that the new proposed alignment pretty much makes it difficult to place a station on Disney property? A station is planned in the vicinity, but not on Disney property, and some are all worked up about it without understanding the actual lay of the land apparently. It was not anything that Disney initiated anyway. It was Mayor Buddy Dyer's efforts to get a station at OCC and success in getting all parties together on that. The new alignment actually serves many more potential customers than just a stop at Disney, and there still is a station in the Disney area. It certainly is a better alignment for SunRail service than the 417 Corridor would have been.

IMHO the original proposal to place a terminal station on Disney property was borderline crazy, enabled only by the fact that the then proposed alignment would have had to make a very sharp left turn heading towards Tampa to get on the I-4 alignment. IMHO, it is a good that that a solution has been found eliminating that.
As McIntyre2k7 points out there is available Disney land further south from Disney Springs and from where I believe the preferred new station site will be.

From what I have read and been told, the original plan was to have the tracks on the west side of I-4 south of Osceola Pkwy. So it is still very doable to have a station on Disney property - maybe not the location that Disney would prefer near Disney Springs. As was reported recently, Brightline and others are still in talks with Disney regarding the south I-Drive area station site.

I have found it interesting that Disney was not invited to join the Sunshine Corridor group. If I were to speculate, it would appear Universal Studios may have influenced the location off Disney property as an initial site.
 

jis

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As McIntyre2k7 points out there is available Disney land further south from Disney Springs and from where I believe the preferred new station site will be.

From what I have read and been told, the original plan was to have the tracks on the west side of I-4 south of Osceola Pkwy. So it is still very doable to have a station on Disney property - maybe not the location that Disney would prefer near Disney Springs. As was reported recently, Brightline and others are still in talks with Disney regarding the south I-Drive area station site.

I have found it interesting that Disney was not invited to join the Sunshine Corridor group. If I were to speculate, it would appear Universal Studios may have influenced the location off Disney property as an initial site.
Indeed, as I mentioned the Sunrise Corridor thing was done by a group that did not include Disney. Disney did not get to make a choice yet about whether their land would be used or not. The original land offered became nonviable with the reroute, and Disney was not party to that decision. As for whether Disney will or will not be involved in deciding the site of the South I-Drive station remains to be seen. But that being part of the Sunshine Corridor now it is not just Disney and Brightline's decision to make. The Sunshine Corridor Consortium to use an informal name for the collective is the one that has to come to an agreement on it.

You are quite correct in speculating that Universal through the Sunshine Group may be playing its cards in the background to ensure that the station is not on Disney land. We'll see how all that unfolds.

BTW, since the current proposed station is at South I-Drive, my assumption is that it will be close to South I-Drive, which to me suggests that the tentative location proposed is between World Center Drive and Osceola Parkway on the east of I-4 and west of I-Drive. It could be further South, but then it would have nothing to do with I-Drive.
 
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Brian_tampa

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Indeed, as I mentioned the Sunrise Corridor thing was done by a group that did not include Disney. Disney did not get to make a choice yet about whether their land would be used or not. The original land offered became nonviable with the reroute, and Disney was not party to that decision. As for whether Disney will or will not be involved in deciding the site of the South I-Drive station remains to be seen. But that being part of the Sunshine Corridor now it is not just Disney and Brightline's decision to make. The Sunshine Corridor Consortium to use an informal name for the collective is the one that has to come to an agreement on it.

You are quite correct in speculating that Universal through the Sunshine Group may be playing its cards in the background to ensure that the station is not on Disney land. We'll see how all that unfolds.

BTW, since the current proposed station is at South I-Drive, my assumption is that it will be close to South I-Drive, which to me suggests that the tentative location proposed is between World Center Drive and Osceola Parkway on the west of I-4 and east of I-Drive. It could be further South, but then it would have nothing to do with I-Drive.
Yes, I see it as a struggle for power or control between Disney and the Universal/I-Drive interests. Having a station located west of I-4 near Disney does not benefit either Universal or I-Drive businesses as they would rightly see it as a stop for Disney. But I do understand why the local politicians did what they did in order to get their goal, which is an expanded SunRail system.

That being said, the 417 route is not completely off the table yet from my understanding of things. It is the backup "Plan B" so to speak of.

And FDOT is also in the background here as well, since any route along I-4 must be approved by them. Brightline has been working with FDOT over the past several years to fit their tracks along I-4 into the final design for the expansion of I-4 west to US 27 in Polk County.
 

jis

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Yes, I see it as a struggle for power or control between Disney and the Universal/I-Drive interests. Having a station located west of I-4 near Disney does not benefit either Universal or I-Drive businesses as they would rightly see it as a stop for Disney. But I do understand why the local politicians did what they did in order to get their goal, which is an expanded SunRail system.

That being said, the 417 route is not completely off the table yet from my understanding of things. It is the backup "Plan B" so to speak of.

And FDOT is also in the background here as well, since any route along I-4 must be approved by them. Brightline has been working with FDOT over the past several years to fit their tracks along I-4 into the final design for the expansion of I-4 west to US 27 in Polk County.
And of course the ability to execute the Sunsrise Plan depends crucially on bagging significant federal grants.

One interesting odd tidbbit is that even if the 417 alignment is used, by using the World Drive to I-4 the new proposed South I-Drive site remains viable.

So much can happen between now and a final decision.
 
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Brian_tampa

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And of course the ability to execute the Sunsrise Plan depends crucially on bagging significant federal grants.

One interesting odd tidbbit is that even if the 417 alignment is used, by using the World Drive to I-4 the new proposed South I-Drive site remains viable.

So much can happen between now and a final decision.
The location for the south I-Drive station site might be a feature, not a bug. Perhaps Brightline agreed to it based on the assumption that politically, it would be difficult to move forward with the original 417/Disney Springs plan? This way, Brightline can gain some favor if the Sunshine Corridor plan does not come about. Since I do not know the current state of relations between Disney and Brightline, especially after this new Sunshine Corridor proposal, locating the station east of I-4 south of World Center Drive would be the best outcome for all in the event the 417 route is back on the table.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Why are people willfully ignoring the fact that the new proposed alignment pretty much makes it difficult to place a station on Disney property?
I’m not sure this is a fact? I don’t see how the new alignment changes the option for a station on Disney property.
 

jis

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I’m not sure this is a fact? I don’t see how the new alignment changes the option for a station on Disney property.
Not anywhere on Disney property, but getting to the original site at Disney Springs is awkward, even ignoring the idea of having a terminal station in the middle of a trunk line.

Building somewhere else on Disney property is feasible as we have discussed above at length
 
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crescent-zephyr

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Not anywhere on Disney property, but getting to the original site at Disney Springs is awkward,
Can you explain how getting to that site is now awkward? That’s the part I don’t understand, I’m not sure what changed. I know the approach is now different but the line still goes right past Disney Springs correct?
 

joelkfla

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Can you explain how getting to that site is now awkward? That’s the part I don’t understand, I’m not sure what changed. I know the approach is now different but the line still goes right past Disney Springs correct?
It was never revealed exactly what site they were contemplating.

It looks to me like an 850' platform could be built in the cast parking lots with fairly easy access to I-4 at both ends.
1657412939849.png
 

AmtrakWPK

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Yes, I see it as a struggle for power or control between Disney and the Universal/I-Drive interests. Having a station located west of I-4 near Disney does not benefit either Universal or I-Drive businesses as they would rightly see it as a stop for Disney. But I do understand why the local politicians did what they did in order to get their goal, which is an expanded SunRail system.

That being said, the 417 route is not completely off the table yet from my understanding of things. It is the backup "Plan B" so to speak of.

And FDOT is also in the background here as well, since any route along I-4 must be approved by them. Brightline has been working with FDOT over the past several years to fit their tracks along I-4 into the final design for the expansion of I-4 west to US 27 in Polk County.
It would be wonderful if that collaboration to add Brightline would also expedite that expansion to 27 and perhaps some additional spots on the way to Tampa. That one stretch from Disney to 27 is now the absolute worst section of I-4. You could probably make a mint delivering pizzas by drones to some of the several hundred thousand drivers stranded in that stretch of I-4 every day.
 

jis

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It was never revealed exactly what site they were contemplating.

It looks to me like an 850' platform could be built in the cast parking lots with fairly easy access to I-4 at both ends.
View attachment 28822
Yeah. You are probably right. Though it seems that there are bigger political and corporate competitive forces at play, and Disney has withdrawn the offer of whatever they were offering.

At a high level what I would like to see is an alignment that admits a station in the OCCC area and another at the South I-Drive/Disney area (i.e. left or right side of I-4).

Ideally the I-Drive/Disney station would be two terminal (likely low level) platform tracks for SunRail and two through (high level) platform tracks for Brightline It would appear to be quite feasible to build that on either side of I-4 or if necessary right on top of I-4. Afterall it will all be mostly, if not wholly on elevated structure. Then the head house needs to be placed somewhere with good road access and space for a largish bus station. Of course the head house faiclities will be distinct for Brightline and Sun Rail similar to what we find in Miami Central between Brightline and TriRail.
 
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joelkfla

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Yeah. You are probably right. Though it seems that there are bigger political and corporate competitive forces at play, and Disney has withdrawn the offer of whatever they were offering.

At a high level what I would like to see is an alignment that admits a station in the OCCC area and another at the South I-Drive/Disney area (i.e. left or right side of I-4).

Ideally the I-Drive/Disney station would be two terminal (likely low level) platform tracks for SunRail and two through (high level) platform tracks for Brightline It would appear to be quite feasible to build that on either side of I-4 or if necessary right on top of I-4. Afterall it will all be mostly, if not wholly on elevated structure. Then the head house needs to be placed somewhere with good road access and space for a largish bus station. Of course the head house faiclities will be distinct for Brightline and Sun Rail similar to what we find in Miami Central between Brightline and TriRail.
Not likely over I-4. I-4 Beyond Ultimate plans are to elevate the main traffic lanes in that section, to make room for 4 managed lanes and 2 tracks of rail at ground level. I don't think they could squeeze in 2 more tracks and platforms.

Now that I think of it, maybe that's why they're saying it's not practical to build the station at Disney Springs. It would be much easier to veer east of I-4 before reaching the elevated section and not have to thread the tracks through all that mess.
 

jis

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Now that I think of it, maybe that's why they're saying it's not practical to build the station at Disney Springs. It would be much easier to veer east of I-4 before reaching the elevated section and not have to thread the tracks through all that mess.
That certainly appears to be the current plan ... station between I-4 and South International Drive.
 
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For all the reasoning that "jis" has stated.

Additionally, it should be noted that most of the opposition to the Disney Springs route has come from Orlando’s Right Rail, the community coalition (and the advocacy) sponsored by the I-Drive Chamber of Commerce, not by Brightline itself or by Disney.

This is one time that the "opposition" (to Disney Springs) makes a case with concessions, by moving the alignment to cover Taft Vineland Road (TVR) to SR 528 to the Convention Center. The rated top speed would be reduced from the proposed 120 to 90 MPH, and (according to the city leaders) it would not be as residentially intrusive as the originally planned route. The point is, indeed it's primarily political with stakeholders OTHER than Disney.


 

Brian_tampa

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For all the reasoning that "jis" has stated.

Additionally, it should be noted that most of the opposition to the Disney Springs route has come from Orlando’s Right Rail, the community coalition (and the advocacy) sponsored by the I-Drive Chamber of Commerce, not by Brightline itself or by Disney.

This is one time that the "opposition" (to Disney Springs) makes a case with concessions, by moving the alignment to cover Taft Vineland Road (TVR) to SR 528 to the Convention Center. The rated top speed would be reduced from the proposed 120 to 90 MPH, and (according to the city leaders) it would not be as residentially intrusive as the originally planned route. The point is, indeed it's primarily political with stakeholders OTHER than Disney.
If I recall, the proposed speed reduction is not due to the new route using the Taft-Vineland corridor, but was made by the Right Rail group as a way to reduce the price of the new route by making changes to design parameters (mostly from the old FL HSR design that used Taft-Vineland at the 125mph or more speed) that were used by Brightline to estimate the $1B in additional expenses to build the Sunshine Corridor route compared to 417 (with equal max operating speeds for both routes). Right Rail came out with their engineering study showing the Taft-Vineland route would at most be $200M more than the 417 route.

I think their proposal does away with most of the bridges along Taft-Vineland that would have been needed for 120mph operation. 90mph is a compromise to use grade crossings instead of bridges. I am not sure what the final design will utilize.
 

Brian_tampa

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It would be wonderful if that collaboration to add Brightline would also expedite that expansion to 27 and perhaps some additional spots on the way to Tampa. That one stretch from Disney to 27 is now the absolute worst section of I-4. You could probably make a mint delivering pizzas by drones to some of the several hundred thousand drivers stranded in that stretch of I-4 every day.
From what I have read, FDOT hasn't programmed the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate West (the expansion near Disney and west to 27) project until 2025 or so. They have to apply for matching funds based on year of construction and it is not funded yet. It might also be the reason Brightline has consistently stated a construction start date of 2025 at the earliest for Tampa (or work west of Disney area). Brightline has to work around a huge project such as the Beyond the Ultimate West that basically uses the whole ROW for miles. There will be many elevated lanes along this stretch of I-4 as well for the Lexus Lanes as well as the mainline lanes as previously noted.

Edit: Corrected name of future project to I-4 Beyond the Ultimate, which has two components. East of the completed Ultimate section and that west of the completed section which is west of Sand Lake Road.
 
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